For more information about the Community Police Review Board, contact:
Community Police Review Board (CPRB)
410 E. Washington Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
Options for filing a complaint about an Iowa City Police Officer
There are three kinds of complaint forms a person may file against an Iowa City Police Officer. A person may choose one or all three. Please note that each type of complaint has a different statute of limitations. The form you choose determines how your complaint will be handled.
1) Iowa City Police Department Complaint Form - No Statute of Limitations
If you use the Police Department form, Iowa City Police Department Policy will determine the level of investigation into your complaint.
You can choose to limit your involvement to a discussion between you and the officer's supervisor, or you can choose to participate in an internal investigation which means that you, the officer, and witnesses will be interviewed by Police Department investigators and a written report on the department’s findings and conclusions will be prepared.
Generally, investigations and any officer discipline that may result from them are considered nonpublic, confidential records. By law, the Police Chief decides if and how an officer will be disciplined.
It usually takes from one week to three months to receive a final response from the department. When you use the Police Department complaint form, the Community Police Review Board will not review your complaint, unless you also file a CPRB complaint form. If you have questions, contact the Police Department (356-5275) Community Police Review Board (CPRB) Complaint Form - Within 90 days of the alleged misconduct.
2) Community Police Review Board (CPRB) Complaint Form - Within 90 days of the alleged miscconduct
If you use the CPRB form, the Police Department will conduct an internal investigation. A Supervisor or Investigator from the Police Department will contact you as part of the investigation process. Your participation is critical to the review process.
You will be notified of the outcome of the CPRB’s review. The CPRB has no authority to discipline police officers. The CPRB handles its work with complaints confidentially and generally does not include information identifying you or the officer in its reports. However, if a complaint is upheld, the CPRB does have the right to include the names of complainants and officers in its reports under certain conditions.
For more information about the CPRB, consult the city ordinance that established it (Iowa City Code Chapter 8-8). The City Code is available on-line at www.icgov.org or for review in the City Clerk’s office at the City
Hall, 410 E. Washington Street, or contact the Community Police Review Board (356-5041)
3) Iowa City Human Rights Commission Complaint Form – Within 300 days after the alleged discriminatory or unfair practice has occurred.
An individual who believes that they have been discriminated against due to age, race, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, creed, sex, color, religion, gender identity or retaliated against can file a complaint of discrimination with the Iowa City Human Rights Commission. A complaint of discrimination must be filed with the Iowa City Human Rights Commission within three hundred (300) days after the alleged discriminatory or unfair practice occurred. Complaint forms are available upon request or at the Iowa City Human Rights Commission’s Office. For more information about filing a complaint of discrimination with the Iowa City Human Rights Commission contact 356-5022 or 356-5015.
Please note complaints of discrimination against the City of Iowa City, including the Iowa City Police Department are referred to an outside agency for investigation to avoid any appearance of impropriety.
File a Complaint with the CPRB
Complaint Forms are available from:
- City Clerk/City Hall
- Police Department/City Hall
- Iowa City Public Library
- Broadway St Neighborhood Center
- Pheasant Ridge Neighborhood Center
The complaint review process
All complaints to the Board must be filed with the City Clerk within ninety (90) days of the alleged misconduct.
Any person with personal knowledge of the alleged police misconduct may file a CPRB complaint with the board. In order to have "personal knowledge", the complainant must have been directly involved in the incident or witnessed the incident. If the person with personal knowledge is underage or otherwise unable to complete a CPRB complaint form, the CPRB complaint maybe filed by such person's designated representative.
Those who may file a complaint are:
- an adult;
- a minor with an adult’s assistance;
- an adult filing on behalf of a minor;
- or a vulnerable adult with assistance from a family member, friend, clergy, or a guardian or other similar court appointed representative.
A support person may accompany the complainant through the complaint review process.
The CPRB receives a completed complaint form and immediately forwards a copy to the Police Chief for an internal affairs investigation; a copy will also be sent to the Equity Director. A Supervisor or Investigator from the Police Department will contact the complainant as part of the investigation. (If the complaint is about the Chief, the City Manager will conduct the investigation.) The Chief completes the investigation within 90 days and issues a detailed written report that concludes with a finding that the complaint is "sustained" or "not sustained." The CPRB will grant extensions from this deadline for good cause shown.
Copies of the Chief’s report are sent to the CPRB and to the complainant, the police officers, and the City Manager.
The CPRB reviews the Chief's report and may conduct additional investigation or request that the Chief do so. Within 90 days of receipt of the Chief’s report, the Board issues a written report that contains detailed findings of fact and a conclusion that explains why and the extent to which the complaint should be "sustained" or "not sustained." The City Council may grant extensions, upon written request.
Copies of the CPRB’s public report on the Chief's investigation are sent to the complainant, the police officers, the City Manager, Equity Director and the City Council.
The CPRB may recommend that the Chief reverse his findings if it determines that they are unsupported by substantial evidence; are unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious; or are contrary to Police Department policy or practice, or any federal, state, or local law.
Community Police Review Board (CPRB) complaint process timeline
- Complaint form filed with CPRB within 90 days of the alleged misconduct by an Iowa City Police Officer.
- Complaint form is forwarded to the Equity Director – And ICPD for investigation; the Complaint form is also forwarded to CPRB at their next meeting and an Acknowledgement letter is sent to the Complainant.
- Within 90 days ICPD completes a written confidential report and forwards to the Complainant, officers, City Manager, and CPRB for review.
- CPRB reviews the Chief’s report, sets the level or review, and conducts an additional investigation if necessary.
- Within 90 days the CPRB issues a public written report with the findings to the Complaint, Police Chief, officers, City Manager, Equity Director and the City Council.